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July 1959

Language and Psychology.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(1):118-119. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590010134018

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Language, as a symbolic function, is one of the phenomena which most clearly differentiates the human from the animal world. The present volume is both a plea for, and a method of, studying language as a means of obtaining insight into the characteristics of the human thought process. As an approach to the origin of language, this book offers a wide range of rich and suggestive ideas. It fails to satisfy as a scholarly work, however, primarily because the author does not include for elucidation and comparison either the ideas or the material of other investigators using related approaches.

The problem, as Reiss sees it, is to determine what sort of entities words are and by what means they become linked to their range of meanings. The author presents, as his answer to this problem, the thesis that the process of vocabulary creation is essentially one of metaphor creation; that

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